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THE FACTS BEHIND MSNBCS FALSE SANDY CLAIMS

MSNBC Claim: The mayor, Dawn Zimmer did request $127 million in hurricane relief for her city of Hoboken 80% of which was underwater after Sandy hit in October 2012. What she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants. (Steve Kornacki, Christie Camp Held Sandy Relief Money Hostage, Mayor Alleges, MSNBC,
1/19/14)

The Facts: MSNBC falsely conflates Hazard Mitigation funding with Sandy Recovery and Relief Funding, and misrepresents the total amount of relief Hoboken has received.

Hazard Mitigation funding is federal funding specifically targeted to prevent and mitigate against future hazards and flooding. This is not funding for Sandy rebuilding efforts. Municipalities across all 21 counties in New Jersey have requested a combined $14 billion worth of funding specifically for Hazard Mitigation projects. Mayor Zimmer and Hoboken requested over $100 million in Hazard Mitigation funding, or roughly over one-third of all available statewide resources or roughly the entire pool of money available specifically for municipalities for a city that is only two square miles. Hobokens other grant requests have not been denied. The State along with the Obama Administration continue to work with Mayor Zimmer on Flood Mitigation efforts as more resources become available in the months ahead. Hoboken has already received nearly $70 million worth of funding for direct recovery and rebuilding efforts. Hoboken has in no way trailed similarly situated communities in the receipt of rebuilding funds.

Walking Through MSNBCs Hazard Mitigation Distortion: Hazard Mitigation funding is federal funding specifically targeted to prevent and mitigate against future hazards and flooding. This is not funding for Sandy rebuilding efforts.

The claim that Hoboken has been denied any Sandy relief funds is FALSE. Hoboken has not been denied on a single grant application for recovery efforts under the current programs for which they are eligible. Sandy rebuilding efforts for municipalities such as Hoboken with impacted public facilities are covered under FEMAs Public Assistance grant program. Hoboken has already secured more than $4.3 million of this funding with the assistance of the Christie Administration.

Municipalities across all 21 counties in New Jersey have requested a combined $14 billion worth of funding specifically for Hazard Mitigation projects.

Out of the Sandy Supplemental Appropriation, only $300 million was dedicated exclusively for Hazard Mitigation initiatives.
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Press Of Atlantic City: Information provided Saturday from the state Office of Emergency Management shows more than $6 billion was requested from Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties for about $300 million available in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program money to address the needs of all 21 counties.Goepfert wrote in an email that requests from all 21 counties exceeded $14 billion. (Wallace McKelvey &
Donna Weaver, Christie administration held Sandy funds 'hostage,' north Jersey mayor says, Press of Atlantic City, 1/18/14)

In other words, only two percent of all Hazard Mitigation project requests across New Jersey could be funded.
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Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Mary Goepfert: Thats a reality of hazard mitigation. The state has a limited amount of money to work with. (Wallace McKelvey & Donna Weaver, Christie administration held Sandy
funds 'hostage,' north Jersey mayor says, Press of Atlantic City, 1/18/14)

Stafford Township Mayor John Spodofora (R): We have gotten a very small fraction of what was requested. Its not like its just any one town isnt getting money it seems like everyone Im talking to is in the same boat.

Given this extreme limitation on funding, priority was given to projects focused on elevations, buyouts, and energy and resiliency projects.
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And since elevation funds and buyout grants go directly to homeowners, the amount available specifically for municipalities is approximately $100 million.

Mayor Zimmer and Hoboken requested over $100 million in Hazard Mitigation funding, or roughly over one-third of all available statewide resources or roughly the entire pool of money available specifically for municipalities for a city that is only two square miles.

Despite the extraordinary limitation of resources and the fact that Hoboken was not one of the states hardest hit communities, one of Hobokens grant applications was approved to pursue creative and cost -effective alternatives to enhance energy resiliency.
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This grant was awarded from a $25 million pool for energy resiliency initiatives and was among those selected out of 400 requests statewide for energy projects. There was 5 times as much funding requested under this initiative than available.

Hobokens other grant requests have not been denied. The State along with the Obama Administration continue to work with Mayor Zimmer on Flood Mitigation efforts as more resources become available in the months ahead.

Hoboken has already been identified as a pilot community to receive comprehensive future resiliency measures to prevent flooding one of only four projects in New Jersey selected by the Obama Administration. In fact, Mayor Zimmer met with staff of Governor Christies Office of Recovery and Rebuilding to discuss Hobokens Rebuild By Design flood mitigation and resiliency project less than 48 hours before her interview on MSNBC. (Mayor
Dawn Zimmer, Twitter.com, 1/16/14)

In Her Interview, Mayor Zimmer Even Admitted Her Goal Was To Push Governor Christie To Support The Program She Had Just Met With His Staff To Discuss. Zimmer: So part of what I'm hoping comes out of this, by coming forward, is to say, Governor, please, support this Rebuild By Design competition, come forward, fully support us, give it your -- your very direct endorsement and understand, Governor, that we have to make, when we're making our development decisions, we have some real challenges and we have to do it in a very balanced way and we have to be fair to all the property owners. (MSNBCs UP w/Steve
Kornacki, 1/18/14)

Hoboken Has In No Way Lost Out On Relief Funds: Separate from Hazard Mitigation funding, Hoboken has already received nearly $70 million worth of funding for direct recovery and rebuilding efforts. Hoboken has in no way trailed similarly situated communities in the receipt of rebuilding funds.

Hoboken residents received nearly $6.3 million through FEMAs Individual Assistance program, which includes monies for home repair costs, rental assistance and other needs assistance. FEMAs National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $43 million to homeowners and businesses in the City.
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Private insurance has also paid out over $80 million to Hoboken residents and businesses. Governor Christie have fought for residents for the acceleration of payment on private insurance claims.

Hoboken small businesses have gained access to over $8.5 million in SBA loans with the assistance of Christie Administration led outreach efforts.

Nearly 200 hundred Hoboken families have qualified and been approved for Resettlement grants which encourage residents impacted by Sandy to stay in their communities. The States Economic Development Authority has approved a Stronger NJ Business grant to a qualifying Hoboken business in the amount of $46,000. The Federal Transit Administration has funded approximately over $2 million in projects within the City. Through a program developed by the State to pursue creative and cost-effective alternatives to enhance statewide energy resilience and administered using HMGP funds, the City of Hoboken received an energy allocation of $142,000. The City was also approved to receive post-Sandy planning assistance grants in the total amount of $200,000.

Through state federal disaster relief resources as well as private insurance, more than $8.5 Billion has already flowed into New Jersey to assist residents and impacted communities.